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The Tale of Buddy Boeheim’s Inconsistencies and Syracuse’s Record

As the season has progressed, freshman Buddy Boeheim has become more and more of a focal point for Syracuse’s offense. He’s the best shooter on the team and can single-handedly create a much needed spark at any moment. But for every game that he lights up the scoreboard, there’s a game where he chalks up a mediocre stat sheet. Of course, he wasn’t expected to be one of SU’s best players, especially in his freshman season. But recently, when Buddy plays well, SU wins. When he doesn’t, it’s usually a blowout loss.

Look no further then Saturday’s game against Duke. Boeheim scored just two points as SU fell to the Blue Devils. Obviously, the Orange were underdogs going into the game, but stormed out to a first half lead before faltering down the stretch. Players like Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett must be more efficient for SU to win. But adding a couple of threes in clutch moments from Boeheim could have made a difference as well.

The game before Duke was a Syracuse blowout win of top-25 Louisville. Boeheim poured on 14 points while knocking down half of his shots, including four threes. Unlike guys like Elijah Hughes and Battle, Boeheim doesn’t chuck up countless shots throughout the game. He’s a smart, efficient scorer. Of course, he doesn’t carry the pressure of Battle or Hughes either.

Without that pressure, Boeheim can keep his mind clear while taking good, open looks. But there are times when Syracuse needs Boeheim to be more assertive and look to score. He’s calling his shot more as the season goes on, and his confidence will only grow as he ages. Unfortunately, SU needs an extremely confident, knock down shooter right now.

Four games ago, against Boston College, Boeheim was a big reason the Orange won 67-56. Buddy and Battle hoisted the team upon their shoulders, and marched to a commanding victory. But just one game earlier against Florida State, Boeheim scored just six points as Syracuse fell in the Dome 80-62.

Clearly, there’s a trend here. When Buddy plays well, and demands the ball, Syracuse plays better and usually wins. But when he’s complacent and lacks a shooter’s mentality, the Orange often fall in blowout fashion. It’s a lot to ask a freshman to grasp control of the offense. It’s also tough to ask proven veteran scorers like Battle and Hughes to give some of their shots to Boeheim. But usually when Buddy is hot, so is SU.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. alan randall

    February 27, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    One thing you apparently don’t understand about Buddy. He’s not a great athlete. He can’t create his own shot, not elite on defense or rebounder.

    He has a high BB IQ, like most coach’s children. Heplays the zone adequately b/c he understand and plays the passing angles and does get some steals and deflections. He rebounds well from on top b/c he understands ball trajectory on misses and gets to the area he thinks the ball will carom to, especially on long 3’s that often result in long rebounds. Something Tyus and Frank could learn from instead of standing around watching to see who gets the rebound.

    Buddy understands how and where to position himself for catch and shoots that are uncontested. Frank is too methodical and dribbles too much, looks like he has no idea what to do and as a result, late in the shotclock, Buddy become a safety valve with nothing but a contested or rushed shot. We have almost no movement on offense and Jim seems to rely on athleticism on offense.

    Buddy has figured out that he can lull a defender into shot 1st, gives a head fake and can get in the lane for a high pct. 12-15 footer. As he gets older, stronger hopefully he will be a better allaround player who may be able to create his own shot, look at the strides Tyus has made in the last 2 yrs.

    Bottom line…get buddy the ball when and where he is most effective. That’s the real reason why we lose and he has a poor shooting night.

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